The Wolfpack (2015)

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Released 13-Jan-2016

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Documentary Interviews-Crew-Director : Crystal Moselle
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 2015
Running Time 86:00
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Crystal Moselle
Studio
Distributor

Madman Entertainment
Starring None Given
Case Amaray-Transparent
RPI ? Music None Given


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
English Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.78:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.78:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles None Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

When young filmmaker Crystal Moselle came across the Gurinder brothers walking through the Lower East Side of Manhattan she was shocked and surprised. Here were six young men with long hair (a product of their Hare Krishna faith) walking together like a lost Amazon tribe. Rather than move to the other side of the street or look away she talked to the young men and began a five-year journey bringing their story to the screen.

It is a strange story. The six boys (they have a disabled sister who does not feature greatly in the movie) were raised in one of the most exciting and cosmopolitan parts of the world, however their upbringing was bizarre and eccentric. Their father, a Peruvian immigrant, was supremely distrusting of the world around them and effectively confined them and their mother in a tiny shambolic apartment for most of their lives. The boys were home-schooled and family lived on welfare.

Confined to their apartment the boys had nothing to do except watch movies. The father brought home thousands of cheap DVDs and VHS tapes which the boys voraciously consumed. It was a short step from watching the great movies to recreating them using props made out of cereal boxes and an old video camera. Need a script? No problem - just watch the movie, constantly pause it, and write down all the dialogue. Without a computer in the house it was a painstaking process.

Despite the purported desire to spare the children of the violent world in Manhattan their favourite films included the works of Quentin Tarantino, Martin Scorsese and Christopher Nolan.Reservoir Dogs is an obvious favourite as there are male roles in it for everyone.

The Wolfpack is a startling documentary which takes us inside the cracked world of this family. There are shades of Grey Gardens in this film as we step through a door into their life and are deprived of an external perspective. It is a filmmaking choice which has divided some critics, who feel that the story would have been better told using a more fact-based approach. The film does perhaps ask more questions than it answers but I cannot recall a more convincing trip down the rabbit hole leading to the fictional world of Giorgos Lanthimos's Dogtooth another film about parents imposing a skewed worldview on their kids.

The Wolfpack was the winner of the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance film Festival and is essential viewing for anyone interested in the documentary form.

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Transfer Quality

Video

The Wolfpack is presented in a 1.78:1 aspect ratio which is consistent with its original presentation. It is 169 enhanced.

The film combines a variety of sources. The director shoots on digital video and the film includes a decent amount of footage shot by the boys. Naturally the image quality varies according to the source however overall it is a decent looking DVD.

The flesh tones are reasonably accurate and the colours are precise.

There are no subtitles with the exception of some burned-in titles when the father is speaking as he has a strong Peruvian accent.

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

The Wolfpack carries an English Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack running at 448 Kb/s.

This is perfectly adequate for the documentary. The film only consists of talking head interviews.

There is little need for surround sound or the sub-woofer.

The dialogue can be heard clearly.

Music comes from a few sources including experienced composer Danny Bensi.

There are no technical problems with the sound on the DVD.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

Interviews-Crystal Moselle

There is only one extra on the DVD - a short interview with Crystal Moselle. The director talks about the development of the project and the difficulties involved in earning the trust of the boys and particularly of their mother and father in order to obtain interview material.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

I can't find comparative information on the release of this film on DVD in other Regions.The Blu-ray release of this film in Region A includes far more features.

Summary

The Wolfpack is an intriguing, strange and sometimes infuriating experience, tying the world of cinema in with themes of fear and isolation.

The DVD is well presented though the extras are light.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Trevor Darge (read my bio)
Wednesday, March 16, 2016
Review Equipment
DVDCambridge Audio 752BD All Region Blu-ray, using HDMI output
DisplayJVC DLX 700 with 4K e-shift on 140" Screen. Calibrated with Video Essentials/Digital Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 1080p.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum.
AmplificationPioneer SC -LX 78K 9.2 Channel
SpeakersAaron ATS-5 7.1

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